Ed Davey: Govt keen for Ofgem reforms to go ahead

February 22, 2013

Secretary of state Ed Davey has thrown his support behind new Ofgem retail market reforms, which are aiming to slash consumers' energy bills.

The politician said that the government is keen for the organisation to press ahead with its reforms as soon as is possible, noting that consumers have "felt the brunt of rising energy bills" for too long. He acknowledged that Brits are feeling the squeeze when it comes to managing their home business.

"That is why this Government is determined to do everything it can to help consumers get a better deal on their energy bills including taking powers through the Energy Bill to support Ofgem’s proposals," he said.

Mr Davey said he hopes the reforms will "put the consumer firmly back in the driving seat".

As part of the new measures, consumers will be automatically placed on the lowest variable rate tariff, unless they choose otherwise.

Suppliers will also have to limit the number of tariffs on offer to four. They will then need to automatically move millions of customers on 'dead' tariffs to the cheapest standard variable one for them.

Furthermore, bills will have to display clearer information and advice, making it easier for consumers to compare prices between suppliers and potentially switch to a better deal.

"The plans set out…will mean that all households can get the best deal for their gas or electricity no later than the summer of 2014," he said.

Mr Davey also nodded towards other energy efficiency measures being taken by the government.

He pointed out the help has been made available to support the most vulnerable households, for example, with more than one million pensioners getting £130 off their fuel bills during the winter as part of the Warm House Discount Scheme. The wider scheme is set to help around two million households.

The minister also nodded towards the Green Deal, which is designed to up the energy efficiency levels in homes and businesses.

"In the long term, we are reducing our reliance on expensive gas imports, by incentivising investment in a new generation of clean home-grown power, which will help us to keep the lights on and ensure bills are affordable," he added.

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